Mintel's Hair Salon Products UK 2008 Report Findings

by sophieh / last updated August 11, 2008

Data analysis company Mintel’s Hair Salon Products, UK, 2008 report reveals a healthy sector worth £191m in retail sales, with 6% growth since 2006.

However, the report’s findings also suggest that this growth would be far greater if certain factors hadn’t impacted on the market.

The launch of Tresemmé

One of the biggest negative influences on the performance of professional lines, according to the report, was the launch of TRESemmé into the consumer sector in 2004.

The move of a brand from the professional sector onto supermarket shelves did much to make consumers ponder the superiority of professional lines, suggests Mintel.

Hairdressers Lack of Commercial Knowledge

Mintel suggests that hairdressers themselves could be doing more to promote the benefits of professional lines and therefore justify the higher prices.

However it suggests that the young age of the average salon staff member may go against this. Statistics from the Labour Force Survey 2007, show that 42% of hairdressers in the UK (from October to December of that year) were under the age of 24.

Many of these would have been fresh from college, suggests the report, and, therefore, lacking in the commercial know-how to sell retail lines.

Mintel suggests a greater focus on commercial skills as part of the curriculum is called for.

“Improving their knowledge of products and their selling skills while in the classroom will be instrumental in helping them sell hair salon products in the salon,” states the report.

“However, with little practical experience, the younger trainees may lack credibility as sales representatives, particularly among older clients.”

Hairdressers High Staff Turnover

High staff turnover is another issue that could be impacting on retail sales by making it difficult for clients to establish a bond with their hairdresser says the report.

The average woman visits the hairdresser every two or three months, offering between four and six opportunities per year to encourage them to buy salon lines, according to the report.

These visits offer hairdressers the chance to build a relationship with the customers, suggests the report, so they will be more inclined to trust product recommendations.

Again, it comes back to minimising staff turnover so that clients come back to the same hairdresser each time they visit, establishing a friendship and trust.

Hairdressers relaxed approach to selling

There is a knack to selling products, however, and Mintel claims that a quarter of women questioned claimed they only bought salon products because they felt pressurised.

“Salons need to find new ways of selling in a more relaxed way to avoid people feeling intimidated into buying,” states the report.

With 84% (22 million) of women over the age of 15 visiting a hairdressers in 2007 (source: TGI), the demand for salon services is showing no signs of depleting.

And, Mintel believes, that the skill of the professional hairdresser, combined with the use of in-salon professional products, could encourage the belief that salon lines are superior to those available through the supermarkets.

Key Findings from Mintel’s Hair Salon Products 2008 Report

  • Eight out of 10 women, including those who actually buy professional products, believe they are too expensive.
  • More than half of women buy, or have bought at some point, haircare products from a salon – although the proportion who exclusively buy salon products is just 2%.
  • The biggest spenders are women aged 45-54, with more than half of the women in this age group visiting a salon every two or three months, spending on average £20-£39 per visit.
  • Women who regularly visit the hairdressers are more likely to buy professional products – trusting their hairdresser’s recommendations.
  • A key obstacle to buying professional products is cost, with 80% of women believing salon products are too expensive.

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